readers, it has been two very sweet days.
it started with a holy mission on thursday night. to drink until my mouth's muscle memory conformed to the shape of a 32 ounce, five pound beer mug. i settle into the corner spot at the pio and waited for hilarity to ensue. chuck across the table, matching me gulp for gulp. seadawg to my left, furtively stealing cigarettes. bubbles chomping ice chips and gurgling water shots. jcrew basking in bacardi with pretty hair and eye rolls, playing the role of proctor's dance line captain: you're blog is boooooooring now, she screeches. stop writing about the '80s. i didn't even finish that post. my landlord in a different section of the room, pouting: i wanted to sit with you guys, but no one would make room. the greeter hugging and close talking. exaggerated gestures and a booming voice. when we turn to observe the zoo, he growls: I'M TRYING TO HAVE A CONVERSATION! moptop quietly absorbs the scene.
we talk about grilled cheese and using machettis to weed a garden. but this is merely metaphorical. a visual to accompany an entirely different topic. i tinkle as i laugh. my stomach twists in delicious disgust.
chuck and i take a cab home. make our driver fritz stop at the ghetto spur. chuck towers over the gas station hotdogs and licks his lips.
uh uh, i say. i'm getting a burrito.
his eyes glow. you get the burritos, i'll get the gatorade.
right on, i say.
we meet at the cash register.
you pay for this, and i'll get the cab, he says.
deal, i say.
"we were like a finely oiled machine," i muse the next day.
"we were definitely lubricated," he says. and by "lubricated" he means "drunk."
thursday night we plotted how we would spend friday, a rare day where neither of us was encombered by obligation.
we will sleep late, chuck suggests.
(we wake at 3 p.m.)
we will sit on the deck and drink coffee! he says.
(we do this. he does a crossword puzzle and i read the style issue of the new yorker).
will shall have sushi! he proclaims.
(spicy tuna roll, zen roll, salmon nigiri and a disgusting deep fried appetizer.
"this tastes like the county fair," i tell chuck, wincing. "it should come with a free ferris wheel ride."
"and tickets to the warrent concert," he adds. "without the lead singer."
"they should give you a comb for your back pocket if you finish the entire thing.")
we deviate once. let's go there, i say pointing at barnes and noble. he cuts through two lanes of traffic and we browse for an hour and a half.
back at chuck's, he reads and i watch grey's anatomy. then we get ready to go out again.
"tomorrow, i don't want to feel like i did today," chuck says.
"pshaw," i tell him. "its impossible. we drank so much last nite that we won't even be able to catch a buzz tonight."
he gives me a suspicious look.
we walk about six blocks to go to a party where bands will play and one of chuck's friends will strip down to his hanes and read his stuff, while perched on a ladder. it isn't often enough that we visit chuck's scene. and on this night, his scene is an explosion of dreadlocks, ear plugs and poetry tattooed on a woman's back. it. is. surreal. it is what i envision before we arrive, but moreso.
downstairs a woman plays the accordian, while another does an interpretive dance in a 60s-style dress.
"this is like laugh-in without the funny," chuck's fannie says.
people are hanging from the rafters to watch. we are on tiptoes in the back row, drinking free lake superior special ale. it tastes like fresh air.
"do you want to get on my shoulders?" i ask chuck.
"yes," he says. "but i'm not taking my shirt off."
a man rants poetry into a microphone.
"i'm not sure why you think i hang out with hippies," chuck says.
we wander back upstairs.
"i wonder if i can smoke here," i ask chuck.
he laughs. around us, no one isn't smoking. the air is thick with the smell of burning rope. i wonder if i will be ostracized for smoking good old fashioned tobacco. my hair is getting stoned by proxy.
i encounter a local writer, who recently wrote a piece on his first sexual experience for a small publication.
"i can't believe that you incorporated duct tape the first time you messed around with a girl," i say to him.
"it was her idea," he tells me. he mentions something about peanut butter.
he proceeds to tell me stunning details that were edited from his copy. one time he coaxed a dog to fruition, he tells me nonchalantly. but they wouldn't let me put that in the story. ... next week i'm writing about the time i was accused of sexual harrassment.
we go back downstairs when chuck's semi-naked friend takes the ladder. i am a bit of a fan of this guy's stuff. within a matter of minutes, you will be, too.
another band begins playing, but is stopped short. the police have arrived and we are being asked to leave. everyone files into the street. chuck and i make for quinlan's.
we order shots of sambuca and try to light them on fire. i burn the tips of my fingers, but the liquor never sparks. we sit on stools at the bar and fun comes to us.
"hey, i just bought a pack of cigarettes and didn't realize i had one in my pocket already," qt says.
"i'll take the extra one," i tell him.
he passes me an untapped pack of marlboro ultra lights. not my brand, but they'll do in a pinch.
kerching, i think. it is like i have been handed six dollars for free. i'm smoking them as we speak.
chuck and i wobble to the cab. another night. another drunk. back at my house, we fall into matching comas. i wake at 7 a.m. and barf sushi and lake superior ale. it no longer tastes like fresh air.
i go back to bed.
"lets no drink for a few days," chuck suggests when he wakes.
my friend teemo calls arund 2 p.m.
"my friend and i want to come to duluuuuuth tonite," he says.
he is drunk.
"can you show us a good time?" he asks.
"uh," i stammer. by 'a good time' i think he means bars. and this lady is barred out.
he senses my reluctance.